Tattoos on the Heart Emma Olson

Chapter Three // Compassion

The name of this chapter is very fitting. All of the stories embedded within this section are full of compassion and hope. One of the stories I found to be the most rich in compassion was Dennis and Anthony's. Dennis was a very skilled mechanic that could fix any car, and Anthony was a former gang member who wanted to become like Dennis. Father Greg Boyle took it upon himself to go out of his way to ask Dennis to take Anthony in as an apprentice. Dennis taught Anthony everything he knew, and soon, Anthony became the great mechanic he had always dreamed of being. This story really radiates compassion because Dennis did not have to take Anthony in and help him, but because he knew it was the right thing to do, he did it despite the difficulties.

Chapter Seven // Gladness

Chapter seven was titled "Gladness" and it is evident why. The stories are full of happiness and joy in some way or another for the homies. Although many of the stories are stories of death and hardships, they end with at least one person finding gladness and joy in somewhere they would have never expected. The most touching story in this chapter was about Father G's father and mother in the hospital. Although it was saddening for him and his mother to see his father dying, he brought them much joy and happiness in the things he did and said. When he was given a pillow from their bed at home, he smelled it and tried to remember the smell of their old house and his wife. This pillow brought joy and gladness to his father, mother, and himself.

Chapter Eight // Success

Success is the theme of all of the stories throughout every chapter in this book, but espescially in chapter eight. Overall, many homies experience success and triumph, but the one I found most impactful in this chapter was actually a story of faith. Father G said success is measured by how much faith you possess. Soledad, a mother of four, has a lot. After having two of her sons killed in the past two years due to gang violence, she has faith in the other children. While at the hospital for an irregular heartbeat, a gang member that was responsible for her sons' deaths was rushed in by paramedics. Instead of praying for him to die because he had previously done wrong; she prayed for him to live, become more faithful in God, and turn his life around. She had real, true success because she saw that faith in God was the best way to be successful in life.

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